• http://www.donnafontenot.com/ Donna D. Fontenot

    I think the only reason this continues to be interesting to people is that it always makes the little guy, or underdog, feel like they aren’t alone in the world of penalties. Plus, it’s similar to gossiping. People can’t help but gossip about the misfortunes of someone else. But your points are right on, though I suspect we’ll continue to see the outing and shaming continue forevermore. For those who follow your lead, instead of focusing on outing and shaming the evil big brand spammers, how about we focus more on shaming Google when it is duplicit in some of the spamming (or worse)? (And yes, I know you have done so in the past, thank you). Specifically, I’m sick of seeing users get duped into installing malware, with Google’s full participation, year after year after year. (See donnafontenot.com/google-profits-from-malware for my full rant). I try not to include links of any sort, much less my own, in my comments, but I’d love to see someone with more clout than I have, echo my sentiments. So I’ve made an exception this time, and hopefully, leaving off the http://www part of the link will keep it from being clickable at least. (Hm, it is still clickable. Sorry)

  • Tom Roberts

    Huge respect to you Danny and the SEL team for coming to this decision. I happen to agree with it, but those disagreeing I’m sure will still appreciate the transparency and detail you’ve given in your POV.

    Here’s to less reading! …Wait

  • Mark

    The only difference is that a big brand will re-appear in the short-run for whatever rankings they’ve held; while an honest small business webmaster or affiliate marketer hit by the same algorithm will be gone forever from valuable non-branded terms, replaced with big brand websites in SERPs and will be in financial ruin because of it.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    It’s not that a big brand will reappear. It’s that any brand will reappear. Brands are both big and small, but what separates a brand from non-brands is that they’ll be missed, if they go. And yes, that’s the flaw with Google’s penalties. A “death penalty” never really hits a brand for long; a non-brand that won’t be missed will go missing for ages. Moral of the story? Same as it ever was: be a brand; be so essential that Google has no choice but to list you.

  • Ashutosh R

    Lovely tip!

  • http://www.blindfiveyearold.com AJ Kohn

    Endless penalty reporting is essentially industry masturbation.

  • http://www.webmaisterpro.com/ Kaloyan Banev

    Penalties are not given for nothing. I don’t think that recovery case studies are necessary, every SEO knows what have been done wrong.

  • http://www.worldwide.rs Maja Corcoran

    Hi, I’m your perfect example for a small / medium sized business that nobody will listen to as we are not a “big brand”, neither are our competitors. We compete, very fairly, within the translation services industry in Serbia. We have had a huge hit on our rankings by a competitor that is using obvious techniques that are against Google’s guidelines, occupying 3 results in the SERP’s for many months (that’s right, 3 results on page one). We have made numerous reports to Google, but as a relatively small company that ranking for non-english keywords, nobody takes any interest. Now if a larger company tried something like that I’m sure they would be banned in a matter of minutes.
    I get that writing about large multi national companies such as Halifax and Interflora is interesting, but what about the little guy? After all the majority of websites are owned by us little guys.